Weakening of memory or amnesia (dementia) is becoming a big problem in today's time

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Weakening of memory or amnesia (dementia) is becoming a big problem in today's time. Till now smoking, low education etc. were considered responsible for this. But recently a shocking revelation has been made.

Weakening of memory, forgetting things, having trouble making decisions... these seem to be some common symptoms of aging. But, do you know that your heart health can also be responsible for these symptoms? A recent shocking study has found that weak heart health can directly increase the risk of dementia i.e. amnesia.

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A study published in The Lancet Public Health, led by UCL researchers, has indicated that dementia risk factors related to cardiovascular health may increase over time, compared with factors such as smoking and low education levels. This research explores changes in the prevalence of dementia risk factors and their potential impact on future dementia cases.

Globally, it is estimated that around 50 million people are currently living with dementia and around 52% of the global population knows someone who has been diagnosed with the disease. Dementia remains one of the leading causes of death, particularly affecting older adults. There is growing interest in potentially modifiable risk factors, as eliminating them could theoretically prevent around 40% of dementia cases, according to research led by UCL researchers.

What is dementia?

Dementia is generally characterized by a decline in cognitive abilities that interferes with daily life. It is caused by damage to brain cells that blocks their ability to communicate effectively. Genetic factors play an important role in dementia risk. Environmental factors also contribute, including lifestyle choices such as smoking, lack of exercise, and poor diet, which can increase the risk of vascular diseases that affect brain health. Other risk factors include heart diseases such as high blood pressure and diabetes.

Research

In the new study, researchers analyzed 27 research papers from 1947 to 2015, focusing on people with dementia around the world. They extracted data on dementia risk factors, and then evaluated and assessed how these factors contributed to dementia cases over time. The study findings showed that smoking rates have decreased over the years, which is associated with a decline in dementia rates. In contrast, rates of obesity and diabetes have increased, which increases the risk of dementia. High blood pressure emerged as a major risk factor in most of the studies reviewed, although control of high blood pressure has also improved over time.

Expert opinion

The lead author of the study, Dr. Nahid Mukadam, said that heart-related risk factors may have contributed more to the risk of dementia over time, so more targeted action is needed on these for future dementia prevention efforts. Our results show that smoking levels have decreased.